Health-Conscious Series # 15: How to Avoid Lung Cancer

My Father: A Lung Cancer Victim

With the smoke bellowing from the live volcano near our province, I usually look at my father's mouth pouting circles of cigarette smoke.

He's my father, our volcano at home.

He enjoyed such ritual from early morn until sundown during his heydays.

But as his 60th birthday approaches, a traumatic back pain ceases his days of smoking. He already got carcinoma leading to tuberculosis 3, as the doctor specialist interpreted the diagnosis.

That was the last days of October 1998, when he was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) here in Pasay, Metro Manila.

He belonged to the 10 severe cases that were admitted at the CD ward or the communicable disease wing of hospital.

His last joke that he was among the top ten who were already sentenced by the disease. True enough, they took their last breaths one by one.

He died November 1st, coinciding the All Souls Day.

His life was short-lived due to his excessive smoking days.

Back when he was still alive, you can imagine how our house was having nicotine-scented atmosphere.

When I was in elementary grade as my teacher taught me the dangers of smoking, I persuaded my father to stop the habit but he never heard me.

He reasoned out arrogantly and said, " What would I do if I don't smoke, get a fling?"

Even my mother was tongue-tied about his reasoning. She just relented on his husband's vice.

Lungs of Cigarettes: A Smoker's Experience

Photo Source: http://www.justrec.com /
Photo Source: http://www.justrec.com /

The Myths: How Ordinary People perceive Lung Cancer

Many of us will just browse on-line and look at the prevalent reasons as to why we should think twice in dealing with Lung Cancer.

In the case of my father, the effects of his smoking showed on his nicotine-stained teeth and his usual gingivitis, the usual pain on his joints or his arthritis days and his irritation when cigarette packs ran out in the cabinet.

Come December 1991, he was first admitted at the PGH for the excessive phlegm that was removed from his ageing lungs.

It's a gruesome scene, isn't it? But it happened and I cannot forget the consequences that my father left us because of his habit.

During my medical examination, I was asked of my medical history and smoking is one of the factors that can endanger my lungs.

Most of the doctors are helpful these days here in the Philippines.

Sin taxes(tobacco and liquor) have been passed in the Congress already. This move is to lessen lung cancer victims being admitted in the hospitals. And people should know better.

Awareness is the most important word when dealing with Lung Cancer. So, we might eliminate the usual notion about this disease and consider it as myths.

These factors are revealed by lung specialists and it will clear clouded views about the disease.

  • Only smokers got lung cancer. This is a fallacy where in fact, some rare cases of being inflicted with the disease are the spouses of smokers who just inhaled the 2nd-degree smoke.
  • Most women die of breast cancer. The fact is more cases of lung cancer among women are more apparent in the hospitals.
  • Lung cancer is inevitable. Our exposure to smokers, environmental and occupational factors can contribute to having the disease. But if we will have a healthy diet and clean living practice, we can eradicate the danger of having the cancer.
  • Fewer people are smoking these days and it lowers the rate of having lung cancer. Pollutants in the environment are still some factors that can affect our lungs, aside from cigarette smoke.
  • Polluted cities can aggravate the situation of having lung cancer. It's not all true at times. Even when you're in the province, if you are exposed to diesel exhaust or other pollutants, still, you can get the cancer.
  • Smokers still smoke after being diagnosed of having lung cancer. Medication and surgery can still solve one's problem if one will truly quit smoking. Speedy recovery will follow.
  • Lung cancer is only for old people. Young people or children can be diagnosed with one kind of lung cancer, the so-called bronchioalveolar cancer (BAC) that can affect teenage girls, too.
  • Old people will never recover from lung cancer. Don't believe it. It is still can be treated through chemotherapy or surgery. The will of the elderly that is inflicted with the disease is the determining factor whether he or she still want to live.

My father already surrendered on his ailing condition. He hated the frequent injection, blood transfusion and hospital procedure.

He just wanted to go home.

He decided to put his life to rest. He's stubborn man.

That was more than a decade ago.

Smoking: Endangering all vital parts of one's body

Photo Source: http://cigarettezoom.com /
Photo Source: http://cigarettezoom.com /

Cigarette and its hazardous components

Photo Source: http://www.bloodindex.org /
Photo Source: http://www.bloodindex.org /

Lifesaving strategies when Lung Cancer already caught you

We are all culpable of acquiring lung cancer.

There are stories that even the most clean-living person can still get this disease.

If ever we are already been caught by the cancer, some pointers will help us cope with it.

  1. Lung Cancer 101 - We should go back to knowing the basics of our lungs and how this kind of cancer develops.
  2. Backpain and swollen fingers can trigger the disease. Ask the opinion of your friendly doctor.
  3. Scout for the best doctor in town and the latest treatment he or she offers.
  4. Remain healthy and active during and after the treatment.
  5. Coping up with emotional aspect and practical concerns, like financial capability or life insurance plan that you can use.

If you will not follow these, then you will be the only one to blame of your failure to prolong your life.

Each one of us have a choice.

Guilty Me: "I am an occasional smoker."

When there's a family gathering, friendly night-out, hosting a party at sea as a seafarer, I cannot avoid having a stick of cigarette on my mouth.

The smoking room of the ship suffocates me and my fellow seafarers always tempt me to blow a stick or two.

Parties also indulge me to smoke. I can't help it, since I will also be affected by the second-hand smoke emanating from the smokers around.

I'll await for the verdict.

For now, I am really trying to evade such atmosphere, although the craving (the usual mouth-salivating) will always alert me from time to time.

I eat lots of fruits these days and the lure of such vice, along with alcohol are momentarily forgotten as I write hubs on HubPages.

Decide now before it's too late.

Photo Source: http://subversify.com/
Photo Source: http://subversify.com/

Lung Cancer: Myths, Facts, Choices and --- Hope

Lung cancer is more fatal than breast cancer among women and more dangerous than prostate cancer among men.

Then why people still indulge in smoking when warnings from health department just go on and on?

This book on Lung Cancer: Myths, Facts, Choices and --- Hope offers vast information and can shed light to our vague understanding of the disease.

According to the authors, Dr.Claudia Henschke and coauthor Peggy McCarthy, most cases are usually found late.

People who got inflicted with the disease are often told that nothing can be done.

Dr. Henschke and her group offer much needed hope to families who are not acquainted with the symptoms that affected the smoking members.

Even non-smokers are affected by those who are smoking whom they usually mingle with.

Death of a Cigarette Smoker: From Cigar to Ashes

Photo Source: http://onlyhdwallpapers.com/
Photo Source: http://onlyhdwallpapers.com/

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Comments 18 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

This should stop people from smoking. I don't know too many people who smoke. Thank Goodness. It is such a horrid habit. Thanks for making this hub a priority to write. Going to share and of course vote UP.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@carol7777: I'm guilty while doing this hub. I always think of my father's plight whenever I'm tempted to smoke.

I'll make it a habit to be reminded by that horrible episode in our family.

Thanks for applauding my hub. It's one of my advocacy.


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 3 years ago from Philippines

Very informative hub. Like the photo of the lungs made of cigarette. Sure sends a very strong message to me. I don't smoke but sometimes it doesn't spare me from being exposed to its hazards. I am so sensitive to cigarette smoke and the moment I get a sniff, my nose itch and I literally I feel like being choked. Hope you can quit smoking already... write more hubs then.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Chin chin: You're right. It's better to write hubs than smoke. It will be my therapy.

Thanks for the post.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

This is a great hub to call for awareness and one that is absolutely worth sharing. I am sorry that your father passed away the way you have described here.

I used to smoke but I quit cold turkey 20 years ago and never had a puff since then. I never miss it. And, boy am I so glad not be smoking ever again because: 1. I don't have to pay high premium for my life insurance. In Canada, you pay high premium if you are a smoker. 2. I'm not burning my hard-earned money just like that. I save my money for something that is much more important than that piece of junk. 3. I am way healthier and happier as well as my entire family. No one smokes in my household and I'm grateful. 4. I don't stink! No offense to smokers but it's true. I can't stand the smell of tobacco/nicotine--I'm sorry and so sorry for the smokers out there.

I believed, discipline and strong determination is all it takes in order to stop smoking and one will certainly succeed. Good luck to those who are trying or on their way to stop smoking. It ticks me that despite the many warnings about the danger and ugliness of smoking, people still do smoke.

"The most powerful and readily available medicine we have at our disposal is CHOICE." We all have a choice.

As I said, I'm sharing this hub and voting up. Great visuals! Way to go travel_man!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@CrisSp: Hi, there! What a very broad explanation you have here. I learned a lot from you.

Call it peer pressure. Being a sailor, one of my officer will always offer me a stick of a cigarette in order to pass the day and talk about the outcome of our job on board ship, women and more.

Some of my colleagues will make it a habit to sip a stick every after meal. They say, it will make them more relaxed after eating.

I am tempted from time to time. But as you strongly said it: WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE.

Thanks a lot for boosting my confidence to say NO if somebody will offer me a stick again.


dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 3 years ago from India

Excellent hub with essential information, well written. Smoking is really very harmful. Even secondhand smoking is very dangerous.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@dilipchandra12: You bet it does. I wonder why it became a habit of most people around the world.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub, brother. I hope many people will read this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

Prasetio


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

This is a very informative article!... your personal experiences through your father's habit, combined with the compelling images makes it also very powerful.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I wish everyone would read this

Wonderful hub. I am sharing this with everyone i know that smokes.

Blessings

Deb


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@prasetio30: Thanks for the boost, Pras. I'm still campaigning about it to my colleagues in seafaring and even at the boarding house where most of the men are smoking cigarettes.

Some are now gradually stopping with their habit. I'm glad with the outcome of my campaign. :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@tobusiness: I contemplated before I shared my personal plight regarding smoking.

It's discipline that will surely kick this kind of habit. I did it, so others can do it, too.

Thanks for dropping by. :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Deborah Brooks: Wow, thank you for making a commitment regarding this advocacy. I hope other will follow your example.

THanls again, Ma'am Deb. :)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

Terrific hub. The information contained should discourage anyone who reads it from smoking. Up and interesting.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@KoffeeKlatch Gals: Thanks for joining my campaign against smoking. I hope you could share this to others who should be reminded of this topic.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

I am so sorry to hear about your dad.My mother and father both smoked. It was the thing to do in their generation.Many have smoked their whole lives and now they felt what difference does it make now.I was often subject to second hand smoke and I remember my friends saying my clothes stink because they smell like smoke.I couldn't even tell.I never smoked and never will.Luckily I never had any lung issues.I hope you stop.Great informative hub with scarey pictures.Have a fresh air break and a great night.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@DREAM ON: Thank you for the reminder. You're right, fresh air is all we need to make our lungs healthy.

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